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Friday, August 6, 2021

What is a Call-to-Action and How Does it Impact Your Content?

Think back to a movie, a series, or a novel where you found yourself deeply moved and motivated by one of the character’s rousing speeches. It might be a scene where the commander or president delivers a speech right before the deciding battle. It might be a scene at the halftime of a championship game, where the coach or captain tries to give a speech to help motivate the team to give it their all after the break.

Now try to imagine being able to deliver the same impact to your audience with your content. The difference is that you don’t need a long and moving speech. In fact, all you need are a few simple words that are more than capable of inspiring immediate action in your audience. These few action-packed words are often called the call to action (CTA).

What is a call to action?

A call to action is a summons, invitation, or appeal that encourages your online audience to take a specific course of action. It often takes the form of:

  • A button
  • A text hyperlink
  • Plain text with no link.

Some common and often-found examples of a call to action include, “Buy Now”, “Learn More”, “Download”, and “Subscribe”, which you’ll find on countless websites, blog posts, and social posts across the web.

These calls to actions are the key to directing your audience further down your customer journey. However, these examples are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than a dozen other ways that you can spice up your call to action and give it greater impact.

Use Strong Verbs

By default, a call to action often already has a verb attached to it such as the following:

Ecommerce: Buy, Shop, Add to Cart, Order, Reserve
Community or Newsletter: Subscribe, Join, Sign Up
Giveaway or Freebie: Download, Claim
Others: Learn More, See More, Click Here, Continue, Swipe Up, Find Out

By themselves, however, they may or may not inspire immediate action when paired with your content. The key is to know clearly who it is you’re targeting, and how you’d want them to respond to your content. Then you can tweak these verbs into either softer or stronger verbs depending on the outcome you want to achieve.

Of course, verbs alone aren’t enough to create the impact you want. That’s why it’s important to take into account these three other elements when crafting your call to action:

  1. Urgency
  2. Clarity
  3. Value Proposition

A Strong Call to Action

Here are a few examples of call to actions that contain all these three elements. See how different they sound compared to a simple “Buy Now!”.

  • Subscribe Now and Get 50% Off Your First Year!
  • Limited Time Only! Buy Now and Get 80% Off!
  • Buy Now and Get a Chance to Win a Trip to Paris!
  • Sign Up for our Program and See Results in Just 4 Weeks!

Notice the difference? Now, let’s break down how each of the three elements adds to the impact.

Add a Sense of Urgency

Urgency means putting in a deadline or a timeframe to your call to action. A lack of urgency can turn away potential customers if they think, “I’ll do it later. There’s no real rush.” They’ll leave your website thinking they can still grab your offer later on, only to then completely forget about it.

Adding the sense of urgency forces them to decide right away, eliminating the chances of them leaving and forgetting. As much as possible, you want your audience to take immediate action. And to do this, words like, “Now” or “…in 7 Days!” can make all the difference.

Be Clear About Your Offer

It’s important to be clear about what action it is you want your audience to take. Using “Download” for example, can be made clearer with “Download this Ebook”.

The use of “Sign up,” for example, can also be vague if you don’t let the customer know what they’re signing up for. Clarifying that will work better: “Sign up for our email newsletter”, or “Sign up for 1 year subscription”.

Increase the Value Proposition

Lastly, it’s important to let the customer know the value of what it is you’re offering them. This is where numbers like “50% off” or “in 7 days” play a role. Readers will immediately know the numerical value of what it is they’re opting into.

Of course, with things like, “Join our Mailing List,” it may seem difficult to pinpoint the value proposition. In cases like these, think about something that could trigger an emotional response in your audience like:

  • Join our community of entrepreneurs
  • Discover your potential with us
  • Learn the secrets of the top 10%
  • Join us and turn your dream into a reality

The importance of your call to action can’t be stressed enough. Sometimes, it could be the deciding factor that makes or breaks your marketing campaign. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you get it right.

Hopefully, these small tips will help you craft the most impactful call to action. But if you’re still having trouble putting together the right words for your Google Ads campaigns or your landing pages, worry not! That’s why agencies like ours exist.

Schedule a call with one of our agents and let us help you take your business to the next level!